CFPs: Do Freedoms Unite or Divide?

Do Freedoms Unite or Divide? Negotiating the Borders of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion in a Multicultural World

Istanbul, 20th-21st November

This is a call for papers for an international symposium titled ‘Do Freedoms Unite or Divide? Negotiating the Borders of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion in a Multicultural World’. The symposium is organized by the Alliance of Civilizations Institute (ACI) at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University, Istanbul, in collaboration with Doshisha University, Kyoto.

What happens when two freedoms conflict? The boundaries between freedom of religion and expression have been constantly negotiated in societies. Yet today as we face increasingly greater religious, social and cultural diversity, the terms of conventional negotiation have to be reconsidered. The pressing question in today’s multicultural societies is how to draw boundaries between freedom of expression when it conflicts with freedom(s) of religion(s). Accommodating diversity is the key to social peace and political legitimacy. The symposium aims to address related issues in cross-cultural communication and how to manage these problems and prevent conflict. Please mark that diversity in views and applicant backgrounds are most welcome and that the symposium does not advocate a particular viewpoint.

Human rights declarations all over the world regard freedom of religion and freedom of expression as distinct rights. Although often the two converge, recently one has been perceived as being in contradiction with the other. The conference recognizes that freedoms are not established or indeed enjoyed in a historical or cultural vacuum. One of the key concepts that help us recognize these contexts is multicultural literacy, and accordingly the symposium welcomes papers that address the historicity, rhetoricity and textuality of these freedoms in relation to each other. Freedoms can unite when individuals are able to understand and engage with the cultural memories, religious practices and mobility of groups they consider as ‘other(s)’. One consequence of the failure of this engagement is the apparent conflict between freedom of religion and freedom of speech. These conflicts also highlight the need for an understanding of global ethics. We welcome all topics related to issues in cross-cultural communications regarding the relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Theoretical papers on negotiations between freedom of religion and freedom of expression as well as papers that discuss specific examples of successful or failed moments of negotiation; particularly those that raise concerns of conflict and security, as well of those that promote coexistence in a multicultural world. The conference hopes to offer policy suggestions, so the applicants are also encouraged to submit papers that suggest (re)solutions.

The languages of the symposium will be Turkish and English. Please send abstracts up to 300 words to symposiumaci@fsm.edu.tr by 30th August. Papers presented at the symposium will be published in a scholarly volume. Please see the CFPs for more details.

 

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